Letting Go of the "Why?" Will Change the "What?" of Your Life

Jun 04
2015

When life disappoints us or becomes difficult, it is easy to turn inward and become just like a child asking “Why?” As adults we ask ourselves, “Why did this happen to me?”, or “Why does everything have to be so hard?” Trying to answer the question “Why?” erodes our self-confidence, leads to excuses—not explanations—and triggers the process of blaming oneself and others. The quest for the answer to “Why?” doesn’t change what is, or what happened, and the answers won’t give us the comfort we seek—they only crowd out the possibility of seeing what could be.

Seeing opportunity and possibility in disappointing or challenging times requires us to consciously seek to alter our mindset and shift the attention away from the unpleasant circumstances and unchangeable events that led to where you find yourself today.

Here are some guidelines to help you shift your focus to what could be:

Change the Questions You Ask Yourself

Give up the search for Why? and begin asking yourself questions like: “What can I do to gain the acceptance and sense of well being I need to move forward?” or “What do I need to change in myself that will best move me forward?” Questions of this type help us pinpoint our barriers and uncover our biases. Once your viewpoint changes from Why something happened to What can I do about it, you begin to stimulate new ways of thinking and being.

Accept and Let Go Of What Cannot Be Changed

Acceptance means embracing the pleasant and unpleasant realities of our lives, and being willing to view them in the context of experiences that serve as lessons learned, or guideposts for the positive behavior we want moving forward. Letting go of the past, your personal history, or blaming others even if it seems unjust or frightening is essential in being able to not let what was define what you become.

Set New Goals and Pursue Them With Gusto

As we embark on re-aligning our goals and our path forward, we become grateful for the lessons learned. The serenity that comes with acceptance inspires the trust, confidence, and resiliency that we need to bring about a new future. This newfound inner peace leads to a clearer mind and a more open heart. We readily set new goals and pursue them with gusto and focus, without constantly fretting or rebelling against the past.

Life will happen in its own time, and trying to control and speed up the outcome is how we lose our serenity and our way. Acceptance and serenity, however, are not about adopting a carefree attitude or living life irresponsibly. They require hard work and determination. They mean living with a sense of responsibility and a faith that letting go of the “Why?” will change the “What?” of your life. The next time difficulties and disappointment come your way, choose to respond differently and let your life be guided by what can be.